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Name Change and Divorce

What you need to know:
Divorce can be a long process that may drain your energy and leave you feeling out of control. No matter what has occurred in your past, your future always offers a fresh start. Now, more than ever, you have the chance to build the life you've always wanted.

The first step in creating your new life is to find out what you want. Then take the steps you need to have your dreams become reality. If you're ready to create a new life after divorce getting your name back may be just the action necessary to kick-start the new you.

Changing your name after a divorce is a very personal decision and a complicated process, which tends to raise a large number of questions but fortunately we have a name change notification kit to help you through it. Before you begin your name-change, it may be beneficial for you to read through some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Do I have to change my name after the divorce?
There are no requirements for you to change your name after your divorce. Resuming your former name marks a return to your former self, and for many women, it represents a positive step towards their new life.

How do I make sure I can change my name after the divorce?
Be sure to request that the judge presiding over your divorce makes a formal order restoring your former or birth name. If your divorce decree contains a name-change order it will serve as legal proof of your intended name change when you file your state and government forms.

What if my divorce decree does NOT have an order that restores my name?
You should be able to modify your divorce decree to include a name-change order. It is easiest to contact the court clerk that issued your divorce decree to request a modification.

What do I need to do to change my name?
You will need to complete and file name-change forms for Social Security, IRS 8822, United States Passport, United States Postal Service, and your state driver's license. After filing those forms you will need to call or submit letters to all of your creditors such as banks, credit cards, physicians, insurances, ect.

How do I know when I've gotten my name back?
Once you've filed all of your state & U.S. government name-change forms and notified all of your creditors of your new name, your name-change is almost complete. You will know that your name is legally changed when you receive your new Social Security card, Driver's license, and U.S. passport with your new name on them.

After my divorce is finalized, can I change my children's last names to my maiden name?
Historically, courts ruled that a father had an automatic right to have his child or children keep his last name if he continued to actively perform his parental role. Now a child's name can be changed through a court petition if it is clearly in the best interest of the child. only works for divorcees. We are unable to change the names of minors.
Related Articles:
You're Not Finished Yet: Fifteen Post-Divorce Tasks You Can't Blow Off
Many More Articles:
General Divorce Articles
Financial Aspects of Divorce Articles
Related Checklists:
Name Change Checklist
Related Community Forums:
Life After Divorce
Related Downloads:
Support Enforcement Against Military Personnel
Emancipation From Support Obligation
Interstate Enforcement of Support
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
The Child Support Obligations of Grandparents
Construction/Enforcement of College Tuition
Deviating for Private School Expenses
Related Books:
The Father's Child Custody Handbook
The Mother's Child Custody Handbook
The Divorce Record Keeper
Child Custody Strategies for Men & Women
What Every Woman Need to Know
Helping Your Children Cope With Divorce
Helping Children Cope - the Sandcastles Way
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